Baja Mexico: (ZZ-SKEC-19)
Excellent & Exclusive Sea Kayak Expeditions...
Loreto to La Paz Expedition (12-day trip)
Encompassing 65 miles of road-less coastline and offshore islands between Loreto and La Paz on the peninsula's eastern coast, this is Baja's classic sea kayak expedition. This coastline is one of the most remote and sparsely populated areas in all of Baja. There are no villages or towns, and the only access to the occasional fish camp is by sea.
The Sierra Giganta Range plunges into the Sea of Cortez, effectively isolating the area from the rest of the peninsula and creating a stunningly beautiful backdrop the entire trip. We'll make camps on beaches that dot the base of these magnificent mountains. Canyon hikes take us into the desert interior, while kayaking allows an intimate exploration of the many coves and sea caves.
The clear waters of the Sea of Cortez teem with colorful life, and the snorkeling around the shallow reefs and vertical ledges is excellent. We see pods of dolphins, as well as massive whales. You'll paddle past towering volcanic peaks, miles of unexplored beaches and forests of giant cardon cactus. Prehistoric-looking frigate birds circle high above while squadrons of pelicans glide across the glassy water.
The expedition begins with your arrival in Loreto and after 10 days of paddling you'll arrive at the take-out site near La Paz. We now offer a paddle back from La Paz to Loreto as well.
Experience a challenging 12 day trip with ten-days of sea kayaking along a rugged coastline between Loreto and La Paz. Great for the adventurous paddler desiring to experience a remote area few people see.
Isla Carmen Circumnavigation (11-day trip)
Baja kayaking in the crown jewel of the Sea of Cortez: Carmen Island. Cliffs of red-hued basalt rising sharply out of the sea and the bold outlines of towering cacti provide the backdrop for paddling sea kayaks 60 miles on this little known, classic 9-day circumnavigation of Baja California’s Isla Carmen, the largest island in Loreto Bay National Marine Park in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).
While visitors frequent the southern tip of Isla Carmen, the northern part of the island is a place few humans will ever set foot. On this unique paddle, you'll have a chance to snorkel with brilliant king angelfish and lobster, watch plunge-diving blue-footed booties, and search for 60-foot whale sharks – the world’s largest fish.
You'll even find a historic element on this wildlife and nature tour. Mid-way around the island, you'll make a brief stop at Salinas Bay to visit an abandoned 19th century salt mine and coral chapel. A two-day paddle rounding the island’s remote north shore leads to Balandra Bay, where you can hike an arroyo into the island’s desert interior past saguaro-like cardon cactus and wild figs in the company of desert iguanas and big-horned sheep. From your tented camps in sheltered coves, watch vermillion skies as they illuminate the banded layers of the Sierra de la Giganta range, the plume of a whale lingering in the still air, and leaping manta rays flopping back into the glassy water as guides dish out margaritas and tasty chili rellenos.
Two nights hotel accommodations and 9 nights camping.
Since 1993, we have created a category of travel we call "camping plus". The food served on our trips is on par with what you get in a first-rate restaurant; we provide all camping gear of the best quality: tents, sleeping bags with clean linens, self-inflating foam pads and comfortable camp seats; you get the best beach sites and you don't have to worry about missing the wildlife. We're all about truly "getting away", but not quite "leaving it all behind". It's rugged adventure with some worldly amenities. And best of all, you'll receive unbeatable support and camaraderie from each of our guides.
Our renowned wilderness meals are prepared daily by our guides using local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In Baja you can expect an authentic dining experience, with savory dishes like chiles rellenos, tostadas, ceviche, and chicken mole. We even serve delicious desserts like brownies and pineapple upside-down cake! Each morning, we serve up freshly brewed coffee or tea. Throughout the day we provide an abundance of local fruits, vegetables, and other snacks. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d’oeuvres each evening for happy hour. We do our best to accommodate special dietary requests, working within the parameters of the destinations in which we operate. “Camping Plus” is all about truly “getting away,” but not quite “leaving it all behind!”
Top Quality Kayaks
We paddle ahead of the competition by combining outstanding kayaking destinations with top quality kayaks. Whether you are a first-time kayaker or an experienced paddler, our fiberglass Seaward Southwind tandems and Navigator singles were hand-crafted with you in mind and provide optimum performance, stability and comfort. On some Baja tours, we use SEDA doubles and singles.
It's the experience, professionalism and personality of your guides that ultimately make a trip a success. SKA guides know their outdoor skills as second nature, enjoy people, love and respect the environment and keep a constant weather eye on safety. Each trip has 2-3 guides to assist, inform, and lead the way so you get the most out of your time with us. They are experts at inspiring confidence and trust, as well as sharing conversation, knowledge, games and laughter - and they're great cooks!
Unparalleled Quality Service
We make a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Impeccable service starts at our office with extensive pre-trip information, communication and immediate response to your questions - professional, yet personal and friendly at the same time. When you sign up, we'll send you our extensive trip handbook detailing all aspects of your adventure from travel arrangements to natural history. During the trip our quality service continues with your guides. Encouraging, respectful, knowledgeable and always smiling, each day they'll help you settle into camp, plan the days' activities, then prepare delicious meals. Our goal is to make sure your vacation is hassle-free from the moment you make your reservation until you're back home. We'll even follow up with you after your trip ends, as your feedback is vital to ensuring our excellent service.
Uncompromising Comfort & Safety
Your safety, comfort and enjoyment are our priorities. Any concerns about risks and physical abilities are handled with the greatest care by our office staff and trip leaders. Your guides are always in close proximity, well equipped and specially trained to handle emergency situations. Your trip leader will provide a comprehensive kayak orientation and safety discussion before you begin paddling. We take your concerns or apprehensions to heart - to make kayaking a positive, fulfilling experience for you. We are fully licensed and permitted to operate in the areas we do, by all necessary government authorities in both Canada and Mexico.
Our tour philosophy combines ecological awareness and low-impact camping techniques with a passion to share these unique ecosystems with our guests. Our belief is "educate, respect, protect". SKA actively supports a number of conservation organizations including The Marine Conservation Association, The Natural Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy and The Ocean Conservancy. We are fully licensed and permitted to operate in the areas we do, by all necessary government authorities in both Canada and Mexico, and pay all required taxes and fees. We promote the hiring and development of local guides, and the protection of the areas' natural resources. We were the first to pioneer the design, manufacture and use of a porta potty that kayaks can carry, and we pack out all our waste products, and recycle all we can.
La Paz Expedition (12-day trip)
Day 1: Upon your arrival in Loreto take a quick cab ride to the tour hotel and check into your pre-assigned room (included in trip cost). Spend your afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Loreto. You can tour the historic Mission located in the center of town, stroll through the local market and dine on authentic Mexican cuisine before meeting your guides in the hotel lobby for an evening orientation meeting around 6 or 7pm.
Day 2: After breakfast the group meets outside the hotel to board the van for the drive south to our launch point near Agua Verde. At the beach the guides will give a comprehensive sea kayak instruction and then we'll paddle the kayaks down the coast to our first campsite.
Lunch and Dinner
Days 3-10: Each day's paddle is 7-12 miles; or 5-6 hours of moderately paced paddling, stopping every 2 hours to rest. We'll spend the afternoons exploring by foot and snorkel. Activities include a nature hike up an arroyo and visits to the remains of a Jesuit Mission and to a small fishing village, as well as opportunities for beach combing, wildlife viewing, photography, stargazing, and swimming in crystal clear waters.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Day 11: In the morning we break camp and paddle to our take-out site near Punta Coyote, where we'll be met by vans for transport to La Paz. After checking into your hotel, there is time to shower and explore the town. This evening there is a no-host farewell dinner at a local restaurant fronting the yacht harbor, where we'll toast our new kayaking skills, and new found friends.
Breakfast and Lunch
Day 12: You are on your own for transportation to the airport for your flight homeward. Taxis (Spanish-speaking) are easily found; BUT depart for the airport no later than 2 hours before flight. The closest airport is the La Paz Airport (LPD) though you can also fly out of Cabo (SJD).
Itinerary is subject to changes
Isla Carmen Circumnavigation (11-day trip)
Day 1: Upon your arrival in Loreto take a quick cab ride to the tour hotel (La Mision Hotel) and check into your pre-assigned room (included in trip cost). Spend your afternoon exploring the beautiful town of Loreto. You can tour the historic Mission located in the center of town, stroll through the local market and dine on authentic Mexican cuisine before meeting your guides in the hotel lobby for an evening orientation meeting.
Day 2: After breakfast the group meets outside the hotel to board the van for the drive south to our launch point near Puerto Escondido. At the beach the guides will give a comprehensive sea kayak instruction and then we'll paddle the loaded kayaks to our first campsite.
Lunch and Dinner
Days 3-9: Each day's paddle is 7-8 miles; or 4-5 hours of moderately paced paddling, stopping every 2 hours to rest. We'll spend the afternoons exploring by foot and snorkel. Activities include a nature hike up an arroyo, as well as opportunities for beachcombing, wildlife viewing, photography, stargazing, and swimming in crystal clear waters.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Day 10: After a final lunch, we break camp and paddle to our take-out site around 2 PM. Load van and proceed to Loreto. Check into hotel. No host farewell group dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
Breakfast and Lunch
Day 11: Departure date. Say good-bye to lovely Loreto and head back to the airport to fly home, or Sea Kayak Adventures can arrange to extend your vacation at the tour hotel in this charming village (at our preferred rates). Day tour and add-on options available.
* Note on Itinerary: We will do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above. However, the itinerary may change due to reasons beyond our control such as wind, waves or inclement weather.
Rates and Dates for Baja Expeditions
Accommodation (2 nights hotel, the rest are camping nights), airport transfer on arrival only, camping equipment & sleeping bags, kayak gear & instruction for 10 days, naturalist guides, meals at camp, taxes.
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer on arrival from Loreto airport is included. Drop off either in Loreto or La Paz - departure airport transfer not included!
Rates do not include:
Any meals in town, National Park fees, snorkel and wet suit rentals, airport transfer on departure
The weather in Loreto is generally mild in the winter with day-time
temperatures averaging 70 to 85 degrees and night-time temperatures
averaging 40 to 55 degrees between December and mid-March. Spring
day-time temperatures average 75 to 90 degrees and night-time
temperatures average 50 to 65 degrees between mid-March and May. Loreto
is in a desert where the possibility of rain is very small, but it can
happen. Winds can occur anytime but are more frequent from December
through February. Magdalena Bay air temperatures are a little cooler
than on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula. Water
temperatures in the Sea of Cortez range from 65 degrees in December to
73 degrees in May requiring the use of a shorty 3mm wet suit for
extended snorkeling. In October and November, air temperatures range
from 80 to 90 degrees and water temperatures range from 75 to 80
What To Bring:
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST
The packing list outlined below is meant to serve as a guide to help you plan, prepare and outfit yourself for your upcoming travels. Below, we have provided our best recommendations and suggestions. These suggestions are broken down by your tour type and are based on the outlined itinerary, the geographic region, our knowledge of Baja, and our personal experience. We hope you find this list helpful, use it as a guide and feel free to amend it with your favorite travel items too!
We provide all necessary equipment for your selected tour, including: personal flotation devices (PFDs), snorkeling gear, all kayaking equipment, bikes, and paddle boards. We will also provide will also provide all necessary camping equipment for your tour, including: tent, cot (on whale camp & multi-sport tours), sleeping pad, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and pillow with pillow case.
Our adventures are best enjoyed if you travel light. We think it is wise to avoid checking any luggage under the plane. If you do check a bag, make sure that you have everything that is either essential or would be hard to replace, with you in your carry-on. Please see below for our specific luggage recommendations for your sea kayaking, whale watching, or multi-sport tour.
1. One roll-on (ideally a non-hard-sided version) or duffle luggage that meets carry-on requirements – This will serve as your main piece of luggage for the trip. You can leave luggage behind in storage at your tour hotel during your kayaking or whale watching tour. If desired, you can pack an extra soft-sided duffle inside your main luggage for souvenirs on your return flight. Again, while we recommend using only carry-on luggage, checking baggage can be done at your discretion.
2. One small day pack (Non-Kayaking Tours) – This dual purposed pack can serve as your personal item during your flights as well as your day pack during the tour (except on kayak tours, as explained in the dry bag section below). Outside zippered pockets are nice and allow you to organize your travel gear. Carry medications, travel documents, important personal items and other essentials or “hard to-replace” items in this on the plane.
3. Dry bags (Kayaking Tours Only): At the orientation meeting on the evening before we start kayaking, we will provide each guest with 3 dry bags (two 20-Liter bags and one 10-Liter bag). Your kayaking guides will provide a full explanation of how to use and pack your dry bags. That evening you will pack all of your gear for your kayaking tour into your three dry bags. The rest of your luggage can be checked into the locked hotel closet the following morning before departing for your tour.
Packing List Essentials:
? Passport – must be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival
? A photocopy of your passport, inside a ziplock bag and stowed elsewhere in your luggage (As an additional precautionary measure, consider leaving a photocopy with family or friends at home as well)
? Copy of your air tickets with ticket numbers, placed elsewhere in your luggage
? Plan to use cash (pesos) for small purchases, taxis and gratuities
? Credit and/or Debit/ATM card that works internationally, ideally with chip technology (Before leaving home, notify your bank of your travel to help prevent any fraud detection holds on your card)
? Watch or small travel clock with alarm (if you are taking a phone, this can serve as your alarm clock)
? Money belt or concealed passport carrier to carry your passport, travel documents and money, hidden under your clothing
? TSA-accessible lock for luggage security when not on your person (optional- can buy these at any travel or outdoor recreation store)
? One - three pair long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets (zip off legs give you more options)
? One- two pair nylon shorts (this can double as a swimsuit for the guys)
? Sarong (optional but super handy for changing clothes, laying on the ground, etc.)
? One - three short sleeve button-up shirt(s) or t-shirt(s) (synthetic is best)
? One - three long sleeve shirts for sun protection (tight-weave nylon shirts with SPF protection made by companies such as Columbia, Patagonia, Exofficio or REI etc. Sun protection is essential)
? Underwear (synthetic is best)
? One wide-brim, tie-on hat (the floppy nylon variety is ideal, as it packs well.)
? One lightweight raincoat (a windbreaker that has some waterproof qualities will work as well)
? Three pair light synthetic or merino wool socks
? One pair sturdy trail shoes, or running shoes, to use for hiking and for casual camp time
? One pair sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around towns, etc. (Chaco, Keens or Tevas are preferred but there are many other brands that are suitable)
? Extra synthetic or wool layers (e.g. long underwear) for warmth during cool evenings
Casual Pre & Post Activity Clothing:
? One - two other comfortable pairs of pants/shorts/skirts/dresses
? One - two short sleeve, long sleeve and/or button up shirt(s)
? One light sweater or jacket for warmth in the evenings and mornings
? One pair pajamas
? Underwear and socks
Gear and Other Essentials:
? One pair of paddling gloves (optional for all kayaking tours)
? Small day pack or fanny pack for hikes (optional)
? One water bottle, 1 liter or larger (A bottle that fits in a daypack pocket or clips to the outside is ideal)
? One buff or bandana for sun protection and cooling off
? Camera/batteries/battery charger (Mophie battery packs for all USB enabled devices are a great option)
? Waterproof Camera Case (For non-waterproof cameras you may want to bring a small dry box or bag to use while kayaking)
? Binoculars (Optional but nice for bird and wildlife watching)
? Sunglasses, polarized are highly recommended for sun protection and enhanced clarity (Extra pair of sunglasses and glasses/contacts)
? Retaining strap for glasses and sunglasses (Chums, Croakies or similar item)
? Flashlight or Head Lamp
? Three to four kitchen garbage can liners – for wet clothes, dirty laundry, soiled shoes, etc.
? A few quart-size or 1-gallon ziplock bags for packing sunscreens, lotions or anything that might make a mess
? Books or E-reader, pen and note pad, iPod/small portable music player with headphones (optional) (we recommend 1-2 books at most; keep games and “extras” small in size and to a minimum) ? Towel (small lightweight towel, backpacking style works great)
Toilet Kit/First Aid:
? Standard toiletry kit including general hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. (keep liquids under 3.38 oz.(100ml) for carry-on)
? Insect Repellent Bug Spray or Bug Balm
? Sun Screen and Lip balm with SPF 15-30
? Pre-moistened toilette packets or disposable shower wipes to refresh
? Personal medicines and Prescriptions (Dramamine-motion sickness, Benadryl -allergic reactions, Advil or Aspirin, etc.)
? Heavy duty skin lotion for dry, sun-baked and salted skin
? Small squeeze bottle of hand-sanitizer gel
? Shampoo and soap (we recommend biodegradable, multi-purpose options)